Who doesn't love the month of May? Thanks to April's showers, flowers have begun to bloom, which we can give to Mom on Mother's Day. Friends and family gather to celebrate recent graduates or to enjoy the warm weather with a Memorial Day barbecue. And for those who love a good deal, there are ways to save on clothing, cookware and more.
Save on Caribbean Vacations
Looking to get away in May? Consider taking a trip to the Caribbean. The shoulder season for the Caribbean is in full swing. It's a financially idyllic occasion between the peak travel time of winter and the lull during summer. With many travelers tuckered out from spring break and summer plans, fewer folks visit the Caribbean during this time, which means hotels will be more inclined to offer discounts on rooms. The weather will have warmed up a bit, but remains easily tolerable with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the mid-80s, not to mention that May misses the start of hurricane season.
Steer Clear of Summer Clothes
Are you ready to update your warm weather wardrobe? May marks the start of substantial savings on spring clothing and apparel. Retailers eager to please their trendy customers will want to make room for the summer stock, which means getting "old" inventory out the door. While you're likely to find a steal of a deal on spring clothing, that new summer apparel is going to sit at full-price for as long as possible, as will swim wear. You won't see similar deals on these items until August.
Put Off Buying New Patio Furniture
Do you remember what winter was like: the bitter cold, the claustrophobic days of being snowed in, and the unbearable break in communication when the power went out? This is why so many of us will want to entertain with a vengeance now that spring has sprung! Unfortunately, this very desire to enjoy the outdoors inspires stores to keep prices on patio furniture high.
Real deals on outdoor furniture won't start until August. But there are ways to save for outdoor events. Thanks to graduations, wedding ceremonies, and Memorial Day cook outs, stores are forced to stock up on party supplies (paper plates, plastic utensils, napkins, etc.). As the festivities wind down toward the end of the month, stores will slash prices to keep these supplies from gathering dust (and losing money).
Upgrade Household Essentials on Memorial Day
What keeps you up at night more: an old, lumpy mattress or worrying about money? A certain federal holiday might have a solution that puts both concerns to rest. Memorial Day means many government workers will have the day off on May 25. Retailers will want to draw as many unoccupied employees into stores with discounts on big ticket items, such as mattresses and refrigerators.
Refrigerators will see even deeper discounts, as May is the month many manufacturers unveil new models, prompting price cuts on older merchandise. If you don't have the day off on May 25, don't worry. Most Memorial Day sales will start the weekend before the holiday itself, and if Black Friday 2014 taught us anything, holiday sales are likely to start earlier and earlier. Keep an eye on your favorite department and big box stores as Memorial Day approaches to make sure you don't miss any early sales.
Skip the New Grills
As I mentioned earlier, cook outs are likely to top the agendas of many who had been housebound during winter. Unfortunately, like patio furniture, now is possibly the worst time to buy a new grill. Retailers are hoping crowds of hungry shoppers will let their appetites get the better of them and pay full-price to replace or upgrade old grills. If you think your grill will last a few more months, you'll find a better deal in August or September.
However, if your cookware is looking a little rough around the edges, or if you want to expand your culinary arsenal, May brings many opportunities to save on cooking supplies. Friends and family of recent graduates and newlyweds will want to give gifts to help loved ones in their next stages of life. New pots, pans and dishes will be a boon to those setting up a new home, and retailers will want to keep prices competitive on such products so they can cash in on these kind gestures.
Get More Bling for Your Buck Later
If your mom enjoys a new piece of jewelry every now and then, and if you haven't gotten her anything for Mother's Day yet, you're going to have to cough up some cash to brighten her day come May 10. Jewelry retailers know last-minute shoppers are willing to pay to make mom happy, so prices are likely to stay the same leading up to Mother's Day.
There is a frugal flip side to this scenario, though. Jewelry stores have to have enough stock to keep customers happy. Earrings and necklaces might be flying from display cases in early May, but as soon as Mother's Day is over, demand for jewelry drops. Those retailers with excess inventory will want to get it out the door. While you're likely to find decent clearance sales at department stores, you're going to have more buying power at local jewelers. Independent jewelry stores have smaller budgets than department stores and larger jewelry store chains, which means they have more motivation to move leftover stock. Try haggling with your local jeweler to see if you can knock those clearance prices a little lower.
Chris McGillicuddy is a freelance writer and PR Guy for Offers.com. He's a book-loving millennial who always has an eye out for new ways to save.